Friday, November 20, 2015

12 Tips to Create a Killer Call to Action for Every Email

By Lisa Furgison McEwen

To create a high-performing email, you need to build it with the right components. When Ford builds its Mustang, top-of-the-line parts are used to create a driving experience like no other.

An email is the same way. Every part of an email should be the best it can be to ensure subscribers get the best experience possible.

One of the most important components in an email is the call to action, and that’s what we’ll focus on in this article. We’re going to give you twelve in-depth tips that will help every business create killer calls to action that convert subscribers.

Here are the tips to create must-click calls to action:

Call to Action Wording

What will your call to action say? You need to pick several words that entice the subscriber to click. Here are copy tips to create a variety of call to action messages that convert:

1. Keep it short
A call to action should be fairly short. There’s not a hard and fast rule on the length of a call to action, but most are about 2-5 words long. Amazon Local uses 2 words in the example below:

call to action - amazon

That’s not to say there won’t be times when your call to action is 7 words, but a call to action should be clear and brief.
Remember, the call to action doesn’t work alone. It’s supported by the message inside your email, so use the body of your email to convey the entire message. Your call to action should simply activate or reinforce that message.
Another good tactic is personalizing the call to action and using words like "Get My…," "Take Me To…," and "I Want To…" like in the email example below.
Merry fitness call to action

2. Capitalize on the fear of missing out

Everyone wants to be part of the in-crowd. If there’s a possibility of being left out of a good deal or a limited number of products, customers will act fast.

If you have a set number of products that you’re releasing, a deal that only comes around once a year or a product that’s likely to run out fast, make sure your call to action reflects it.
Here are a few examples of calls to action that you can use:

  • Claim your limited-time offer
  • Get it before it’s gone
  • Don’t miss out, buy now
  • Buy a limited-edition (name of product) today
  • Shop the biggest sale of the year
3. Create a sense of urgency

A call to action should create a sense of urgency, so you should choose words that encourage such. Use present tense, active words that make subscribers follow through with your desired action. Use words or phrases like “now,” “today,” “act fast” or “redeem instantly.” Any word choice that compels a subscriber to act immediately is the right choice.

shop now call to action

4. Try adding prices

If a subscriber clicks on a call to action that includes a price, it shows a high level of interest. The customer knew your price point and took the next step. That’s a customer that’s close to converting, and worth identifying.

Here are a few examples that include price points. Consider tweaking theses ideas to fit your product or service.

  • Book a cleaning service for $50
  • Shop TVs under $300
  • Upgrade your account for $5
  • Shop $20 holiday gifts
  • Find the perfect gift for $10
  • Shop popular $20 gift sets
  • See how far your $50 can go
5. Include an incentive

Your call to action text could include an incentive. Why should customers click on your call to action? Can they save 50%? Try something free for a month? Upgrade for a one-time fee? Whatever the incentive, consider adding it to your call to action.

The example below includes an incentive. It does make the call to action longer than usual, but the incentive could convert more subscribers.


Other incentives could include, “Activate your 50% off coupon now,” or “Get a free gift with your $25 purchase.”

free gift call to action

6. Go (a little) extreme

Some brands can go out on a limb and choose words that are a little extreme. Words that grab attention, are trendy or even a little risqué might be just what you need to boost click through rates.
If you market to the younger crowd, speak their language. Use trendy words like “selfie” or “totes adorbs” in a call to action.

Even if your target audience isn’t millennials, you can still create an out-of-the-ordinary call to action. For example, rather than saying, “Download the Healthy App Now” try something like “Ditch the Crappy Diet.” The second option pushes the envelope a little; it’s not stuffy corporate speak.
These choices aren’t for every brand. If language like this doesn’t fit with the overall tone of your brand, don’t force it. Above all else, stay true to your brand voice.

Button creation and placement

In most cases, a call to action button is better than hyperlinked text. It stands out and is easily recognizable to subscribers. However, there’s more to creating a call to action button than you might think. Here are a few pointers:

7. Create the best button size

How big should your call to action button be? Good question. You want a call to action button hat works on every device.

Email templates are built with a responsive design, so if you’re using an email template from an email service provider the button size will adjust to fit the user’s screen.

However, you can customize buttons with third party button creators like ButtonOptomizer. If you’re creating specifically for mobile, create a button that’s 57 pixels wide. MIT students conducted a study and found that the human finger covers 45-57 pixels on a screen.


8. Pick the right button color

There’s a ton of research online that examines how customers react to certain colors. You could spend days reading which color represents dominance, or which color encourages a purchase. You’ll spin your wheels. There isn’t one magic color that will turn subscribers into paying customers or valuable leads.

To find the best color, you should A/B test them. Send a small group of contacts the same email, but with two different colored buttons and see which one gets the best results.
While there isn’t one perfect color, here are a few tips to help you find the right one:

  • Pick a color that’s used sparingly in your email text, or not at all, so it really stands out.
  • Make sure the color of the button doesn’t conflict with the text inside it. For example, if your button is red, don’t use pink text inside it.
  • Consider using a color from your logo.

Here’s a good example. National Geographic uses yellow for its "Order Now" call to action button. It’s a great choice because the color is used sparingly throughout the email and it’s part of the logo.


9. Put the button in the right place

There’s a lot of debate about the best place for a call to action in an email. Some experts will tell you an effective call to action sits “above the fold,” or near the top of the email so subscribers don’t have to scroll down to see it. Others say the call to action should serve as an email’s conclusion.
Kissmetrics calls the entire fold argument a red herring, and says it’s all about writing good copy and presenting the information well.

It’s another component you can test to see what works best for your business.

Final tips

Before we wrap up, here are a few final thoughts to keep in mind when you create your next call to action:

10. Call to action testing

While the tips above are designed to get you on the right track, you can fine-tune a call to action by testing it. We mentioned A/B testing a few times, but it’s really the best way to optimize your performance. You can test every component we suggested. From word choice to button size, testing will tell you which call to action resonates with your customer base.

However, for testing to be effective, you should only change one thing at a time. Otherwise you won’t know what’s working.

11. Be creative

It’s okay to think outside of the box. You don’t have to use the same generic “Shop Now” call to action in every email. In fact, you shouldn’t. Subscribers like variety, so switch it up. Get creative and use your metrics to see what’s working.

12. Scan your inbox

Your inbox is home to a wealth of call to action ideas. Do a little recon and scan the emails in your inbox and pay special attention to the call to action. What grabs your attention? What do you like about it? Jot down a few notes and try those ideas in your next email campaign.
There you go, 12 tips to create a call to action button that converts.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

57% of holiday shoppers have already begun

Photo from

By Laura Heller

Anyone looking for more proof that holiday shopping begins earlier has some new statistics to cite: 56.6 percent of those celebrating the holidays had begun shopping by early November, up from 54.4 percent last year and up further from the 49 percent who had started by this time in 2008, the first time the National Retail Federation asked the question.

It's the highest percentage seen in that timeframe, according to the NRF's Consumer Holiday Spending Survey conducted by Prosper Insights and Analytics. Some 21 percent of shoppers began before October, according to a recent Brand Keys survey.

"Thanksgiving weekend shopping has evolved tremendously over the past few years and can no longer be seen as the 'start' of the holiday season, though there's no question it's still important to millions of holiday shoppers and retailers of all shapes and sizes," said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. "There is a real sea change happening in retail when it comes to the how, when, where and why of holiday shopping. Consumers today are looking for great prices and value-add promotions earlier than ever before, and retailers have answered these demands in several different ways already this holiday season."

Younger shoppers are among the busiest early in the season. Nearly 65 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds and 62 percent of 35 to 44-year-olds say they have already started shopping.

 "While there are many 'Type A' holiday shoppers who love to get an early start on their wish lists, it's also likely some of the early shopping we've seen has been in the form of 'self-gifting,' and there's no question millennials love treating themselves to something when the price is right," said Pam Goodfellow, principal analyst and consumer insights director for Prosper. "And with Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday still to come, holiday shoppers of all ages are still in for a treat when it comes to unbeatable promotions."

 Hot gift items this year include apparel and accessories (60 percent); books, CD's and DVDs (46 percent); and toys (41 percent). One in five will buy jewelry, and 30.5 percent will spend on food or candy.

 And for the first time, the number of shoppers who intend to buy gift cards has declined: 56.3 percent plan to buy cards, down from 60 percent last year, despite gift cards being the most requested gift item, according to NRF.

 Thus far in the season, retailers are getting high marks from shoppers when it comes to promotions. Slightly more than 40 percent rank retail promotions as excellent or good, and another 34.8 percent said they were average.

 Retailers' attempts to reach millennials with more targeted messaging and promotions appear to be working as well. Nearly 59 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds and 54.5 percent of 25 to 34-year-olds agree retailers' deals have either been excellent or good.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Use Your Website to Boost Brick and Mortar Visits

By Nicole Reyhle

Is your business’ website doing more than giving customers your location, hours of operation and phone number? Is your brick-and-mortar retail site encouraging customers to check out your website? Cross-marketing your physical and online spaces increases awareness, engagement and revenue for your business. When looking to boost your marketing efforts, here are a few points to consider:

Ensure They Boost Each Other

Marketing across channels is an excellent way to reach new customers and encourage existing ones to return. Although a website can’t deliver the highly-personalized services of a skilled salesperson, it can serve as a valuable bridge to attract customers’ attention. Make sure your website delivers the information your customers need about the products and brands you sell. Include high-quality photographs that encourage them to visit your store in person for a closer look. Boost your website by encouraging retail store customers to sign up for emails that announce sales, pre-orders and other specials.

Help Customers Discover Your Website

Most shoppers operate in three distinct phases, according to Boutique Window. These are:

  1. Discovery: This phase gives customers who aren’t in your geographic area the chance to find you through local online searching. You can expedite this phase by adding your website to local search engine directories so local customers can find your retail space. Make sure your website content includes geographic and product keywords that customers are likely to use in their searches.
  2. Connection: The second phase lets customers see if your store provides the products or services they need without making an actual trip to the store. Develop website content that informs and educates your customers about specific products. Demonstrating knowledge and expertise helps persuade them you’re a credible and trustworthy business.
  3. Sales: The final phase can happen online or in your store.

Impress With Your Landing Page

Most online searches take the customer directly to the website landing page. Like your store, it must convey a positive first impression to encourage visitors to stay and browse. Your site also needs to make your customers feel safe and secure, not like they’re being spammed. Show perks of shopping online, such as free shipping or promotion codes. Also display security badges that testify to your site’s security. A good site will show that its site is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, approved by Norton Secured and a verified merchant from Authorize.Net.

Let Them Research Online and Buy in the Store

Many customers invest more time researching expensive products online before purchasing them from a physical location, according to ShoppinPal. This gives businesses with both online and in-person stores an advantage to target customers. An infographic on MineWhat cites research from RetailingToday that says 60 percent of consumers begin product research through a search engine and visit at least three online stores before deciding where to make the purchase.

Although nothing can replace a personalized, in-store experience, a well-designed website can be a valuable sales tool that encourages customers to visit your store to forge that relationship. For example, Spencers TV & Appliance embeds links on its website that users can click on to call and check on specific products, prices and availability. It’s easy to visualize a good salesperson using this opportunity to bring a potential customer into your store.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How To Deal With A Bad Salesperson In Your Retail Store

By Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

Do you have a bad salesperson on your retail sales floor?

You know, the one who screams, "That was my sale!"

The one who makes everyone miserable.

The one who has to say to the salesperson while the customer is at the register, "I greeted them," or
"Oh you came back after you talked to your husband."

Nothing screams, "WE WORK ON COMMISSION!!" more than those behaviors.

They have to put the other salesperson in their place.

The problem for you is your whole store is watching.

Monday, November 16, 2015

We're Moving!!

One Step has found  a new digital home and we want you to come with us!!


While this blog will still be running, all past and future posts will now be published on: 

So make sure you check us out and see our new website, because One Step is about to become  your new favorite blog (if it wasn't already).


3 Reasons Why Social Media Influencers Make Powerful Brand Partners

Who would you rather have promoting your products or services: Kim Kardashian or Michelle Phan?

Chances are you know who Kim Kardashian is and you may be thinking her widespread influence could launch your brand to the masses. Maybe you haven’t heard of Michelle Phan, a YouTube personality known for her unique makeup tutorials, but her over 8 million followers shouldn’t be overlooked.

When you’re looking to align your brand with an influencer, it may be tempting to target a famous celebrity. But with a closer connection to their audience, expertise on a niche topic and greater engagement, social media influencers could be the better fit.

Cision’s new “How to Use Influencers to Expand Reach & Impact” white paper examines the impact influencers can have on your brand and how you can harness their power. Take a look at the following three reasons for why you should consider connecting with social media influencers for your next campaign:

1. Low Cost for a High Return

Celebrity influencers will happily promote your brand – but it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg. Most brands don’t have the resources available to even consider aligning with celebrities.
That’s why it makes sense to turn to social media influencers.

While there still may be a cost involved to make them your partner, it will be significantly less than the cost for celebrity influencers. Plus, with a wide reach and significant sway, the investment in a social media influencer may be worth it.

2. Your Audience is Tuned in

While celebrities may be more widely known, they aren’t as closely connected to their audience the way that social media influencers are.

Think of the relationship between these influencers and their audience like the relationship between a mama bear and her cubs. Social influencers are the gatekeepers, protecting their followers from brands looking for new customers. They know what brands their audience should trust and that makes your audience inclined to listen.

If a social media influencer recommends your products or services, their audience is much more likely to take note than if a celebrity recommended them. Because of social media influencers’ attachment to their audience, they have more power to sway opinions.

3. They’re the Experts

Just like social media influencers have a close connection to their audience, they also have a close connection to their industry. Unlike celebrities, social media influencers are known for being an expert on a specific topic. For example, they could be a YouTuber specializing in makeup and hair tutorials or a blogger who writes about food.

Your audience sees these people as the final word on the products and services in their industry. So if that Youtuber mentions how great your eyeshadow is in their video or that blogger writes about how effective your blender is, their audience is going to believe what they say, follow their recommendation – and head straight to the checkout counter.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

4 Common Mistakes in Online Customer Service

Modern customer service is a much different animal than it was in the past. Now we have several channels of communication whilst once it was just phone and letter. This gives us an unprecedented opportunity to really connect with customers though and to really get brand messages across. All this helps ensure that customers are kept happy.

Despite this, mistakes in customer service still occur frequently. Some businesses that have been around before social media changed everything stick to outdated methods of communication, whilst others just don’t put effective training in place. We’ve all heard of the many social media faux pas that ruined companies' public reputations with a single tweet or comment. However most companies that underperform at customer service do so quietly, without a big viral bang. What about those we don’t hear about? Are eCommerce companies getting it wrong still, or has the business world finally caught up with everything that technology has to offer?

Some businesses have been great at customer service right from the start, whilst others fail year in, year out. For example, for the past five years in the telecommunications industry, I’ve seen the same names at the top of the list when it comes to failing at customer service., It seems some just aren’t learning. What is worth noting: delivering great online customer service is not a matter of luck, nor is it impossible to learn.

With that in mind, let’s have a look at some of the most common customer service mistakes and the steps that you can take to ensure that your eCommerce business isn’t the one failing.

#1: One Way Communication

The internet is a wonderful medium for marketeers and it’s common for eCommerce companies to push marketing messages out over customer review sites and social media. However, communication should be a two-way street. ll too often we see the sales message being pushed out without effective customer service when it comes to responding to reviews – whether positive or negative – or questions posed.

The importance of addressing this cannot be emphasized enough. For the customer, there are few things more frustrating than being ignored. Ignoring only makes the situation worse. Angry customers take to copying and pasting their comments onto several threads in a desperate effort to be heard and customer service reps only make things worse by deleting these comments.

Or worse – the service reps repeat the same scripted message over and over.This makes the customer feel more like a statistic than a person. Even if the customer has played this card first, no company should answer like that. Customers will alwayshave the advantage when it comes to comment quantity. So when you answer, pick out a representative critical comment and answer specifically. The first step to a publicly presentable reaction is real dedication.

The same can be said of website communications. Many companies only allow contact through phone or contact forms, or worse, they insist that the customer searches through endless FAQ before making contact. But customers want instant results. The site that doesn’t provide this will lose out to the ones that do.

Live chat is useful for all kinds of customer queries, but is most commonly used for quick questions and answers to support a buying decision. Complaints tend to be made using email and general enquiries using the phone. Communication by phone canfrustrate customers when they are put in a queue. Also, plenty of people cannot bring themselves to call and explain their issue, especially when it is a negative comment or reclamation. Not to lose this group completely, offering live chat is an effective alternative.

#2: Using Outdated Methods

The internet is by nature a hotbed of competition and as such, you have to push the envelope a little when it comes to standing out. Those companies that don’t have a social media presence will lose out, as will those that keep relying on outdated modes of communication. That doesn’t mean that today marketing and service strategies are all alike and a company just has to have any mix of communication channels. Instead, the mix has to be there and it has to be adjusted to the specific target groups. This is an ongoing task, of course.

Some customers will always want to communicate by phone and are not willing to change their habits to suit you and that’s fine. You should offer a rounded means of contacting you that covers all eventualities. However, for the more web savvy customer, you should offer various channels for getting in touch and ensure that they are all properly manned. This means keeping someone on the phones, whilst monitoring email, SMS, live chat and social media.

Phones are fine and create a personal contact, which however also is their downside. Emails are more discrete and can be reviewed before sending, but they mostly don’t offer a quick answer. Live chat is arguably the best way to give customers answers when they are needed quickly, discrete and personal at the same time. This is especially true when it comes to questions that customers have when they are on the site, as they are likely to make a purchase. Modern CRM packages integrate live chat with other channels so that you always have a means of communicating with the customer in their preferred manner at the time they need your help.

One reason why live chat is implemented in most CRM systems these days, is a widespread acceptance throughout customers. In fact, live chat has the highest level of satisfaction when compared to any other customer service platform, with 73% reporting this to be the preferred method. Further to this, research has found that 31% of customers are more likely to go ahead and make a purchase after using live chat.

#3: Ignoring the Customer

A pet hate of just about everybody, it can be fatal for a company to not respond to anything the customer sends its way. For the most part, this problem manifests due to a lack of customer service staff. Since no one person can man the phones/email/chat on a 24/7 basis, it’s vital that you make it clear what hours your business keeps with regards to getting back to customers.

While it’s not good to stretch your customers’ patience in general, it can be seriously dramatic to leave them with a feeling that their message is sent into a black hole. If you can’t offer all day-round support, send a notice that the message has been received and will be answered in a certain time span. Make it a top priority to stick to that time span, be it mail, phone or chat.

For the social media world the same rules apply, with amplifications of negative outcomes. Recent research has found that 27.1% of people who were ignored on social media after making a complaint would stop doing business with the company in question. 50.7% said in a survey that they currently use social media as a means to communicate with brands online. Of those respondents who had dealt with companies on social media, almost a third (32.5%) said that they were either neglected or completely ignored.

There is no excuse. Technology – that great enabler – has given you all the tools you need to effectively communicate with all customers in one way or another and social media is no exception. The exact same tools are available for any customer and using them is for many is a relief of pressure, or even fun. This makes it likely to blow up in your face if you ignore complaints or any other query on social media.

Likewise, if you have a chat function on your website, or you’re planning to get one, then it’s hugely important to cover as much time of the day as possible to answer questions. Of course, it isn’t always possible to have enough chat agents for being available round the clock. In this case, focus on the peak times of your business. Also do make sure that your chat widget clearly states when it’s manned on the front of it.

#4: Not Empowering Customer Service Reps

The employees on the front lines are the ones that have to deal with all manner of enquiries and complaints. This means that they should have the power to deal with these instantly. However, the rep can only work within the constraints of policy and if these are too tight, it’s likely that they will deliver a poor service to the customer.

For example, a customer may pop up on the chat and ask the rep about an order they’ve placed but which hasn’t yet arrived. The common response will be to give the customer an email address or phone number they can use to contact the relevant department directly. They may then wait days, or even weeks, before an email is responded to, or they may find themselves in a phone queue and subsequently passed on from one department to another as each employee refuses to take responsibility for something that they don’t view as being in their job description.

On the employee’s part, this is usually caused by fear. They know what policy dictates and it may be that they don’t have the authority to offer any recourse to the customer and know that a) they’re likely to be shouted at and b) are powerless to do anything about it.

Firstly, again, modern technology is good enough so that the customer service rep should be able to access customer records through their CRM dashboard whilst still on chat. They should then also be given the power to effectively deal with the query. If the delivery is late, for example, they could offer free next day delivery on the next purchase and give the customer an answer as to where their item is.

The rep should also have the power to advise the customer that they won’t accept abuse. If you allow this, then the rep is more likely to stay in the job as they feel that they have a voice within the company. Having helpful rules even for when a customer gets “out of hand” will make your reps more confident and take away their greatest fears.

Don’t allow your reps to go at the customers by telling them to calm down though, even if this would “serve a quicker resolution of the issue”. So, while you shouldn’t let your reps discuss emotional states of customers, they should not be focused on just the technical details either. The feeling of talking to a robot will inspire plenty of customers’ anger. There is a thin line between coldness and offense. Train your reps to find this line of professional sensitivity and they’ll be fine.

Outstanding Customer Service
It’s not especially difficult to deliver excellent customer service across all platforms, but it does seem that many eTailers continue to get it wrong. There are now plenty of solutions available to pull communications together and ensure quick and effective responses to customer queries. Live chat is swiftly becoming the premium method for helping customers in real time and should be taken advantage of, but it’s important to understand too that customer service should be excellent across all platforms. his means adequate staff should be in place, alongside robust training.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How to Motivate customers to share you products

If you have social media buttons on your product pages, you probably added them because you wanted your products to be shared more frequently on networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. You know that more shares = more publicity, and more publicity = more new customers making purchases.

However, increasing those valuable shares isn’t always as easy as sticking a few buttons on your store and calling it a day. Your customers need motivation to share your products, and it’s up to you to give it to them.

There are a few methods you can use to motivate a customer to spread the good word about your brand before, during, and after their purchase. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can boost shares of your products on social media and attract even more shoppers.

Why social sharing is beneficial for eCommerce

One of the biggest concerns that store owners have about products being shared on social media is that it doesn’t help their bottom line. If your ROI from social media shares is currently low, you may not think that it makes sense to encourage additional sharing, especially when there’s so much more you can do to market to customers at the earliest stage.

However, research has found that pre-purchase social shares are strongly linked to revenue. One study from ShareThis showed that millennial shoppers (those born between the 80s and early 00s) are approximately twice as likely to buy a product they’ve personally shared on social media.

Millennial shoppers who share products are about 2x more likely to make a purchase.
Even for non-millennials shoppers, social sharing brings with it a 20 to 40% lift in purchasing intent.
Additionally, the ShareThis study shows that millennial-aged friends or acquaintances exposed to shares of your products are more likely to make a purchase from your company.

40% of millennials are “somewhat likely” to make a purchase based on a friend’s recommendation on social media.

As you can see, there’s immense value in making social sharing easier. Whether it’s so your target customers can add your products to a Pinterest wishlist or just nudge an interested friend on Facebook, these shares can drive additional clicks, further brand awareness, and — of course — sales.

Use your product pages to ask for shares that drive purchases

So how can you prompt your customers to share your products before they buy them? Start by adding the appropriate social buttons or links to your product pages. This may require using a tool or plugin to generate the proper buttons and links for each page; if you’re using WooCommerce, an extension like AddShoppers or Product Sharing for the Storefront theme can simplify this process.
How you display these options is up to you. It’s often best to find (or even create) buttons that match your branding, and position them on your pages in a way that is noticeable and functional yet unobtrusive.

For example, online clothing shop Luvd has these stylized sharing options placed neatly beneath their product photos on each page:

Sharing options on the Luvd store.
On the other hand, Designboom places them front and center so they’re hard to miss, using social icons as an overlay on a large product image:

Cool floating share buttons at Designboom.
Where should you place your social sharing options? It might take a few tries to find a place that seems right to you. Additionally, you may have to go through a few rounds of A/B testing to determine the location that your shoppers respond best to. Don’t be afraid to try a few options until you find the one that works best for everyone.

Finally, keep in mind that your customers may not use certain social networks. If you sell farm supplies, your customers may not find a “share to Pinterest” button useful — but if you sell jewelry, this option is a must-have. Consider removing unpopular options from your pages, as this may cut down on your site’s load time and save a little space.

Use confirmation pages or emails to ask for post-purchase shares

As a store owner, all of your effort is likely placed on getting customers to click that final “buy” button. Once that happens, you can breathe easy, right?

Not so fast. If you aren’t asking your newest customers — that is, the ones who have just completed a purchase — to share the products they’ve bought, you’re missing out on an amazing opportunity to tap into their feelings of happiness, goodwill, and self-satisfaction.

Consider this: according to a paper published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, professors from the University of Michigan claim that shopping can alleviate sadness, improve your mood, and make people happier. Additionally, several publications now claim that on social media, positive or happy updates spread faster and are better received than neutral or negative ones.

Good news spreads faster than bad news. (Photo credit: J E Theriot)

So if you put the two together, you might stand a pretty good chance at getting your happiest customers — that is, the ones who just bought something from you — to effectively spread the word about your store. But you have to ask, and as a 2013 Owned It study found, only 3% of major UK retailers are requesting that customers share their purchases.

Just adding the social media links to your “thank you” or “order confirmation” page or email isn’t enough. You should come right out and ask your customers to share the products they’ve just purchased.

Amazon asks customers to share what they bought as soon as their transaction is completed:

Amazon asks for shares as soon as you buy something. (Image credit: VWO)
Note that there are two networks available (Facebook and Twitter), as well as an email option. The title and metadata of the share are both pre-filled, which means the customer only has to click the “Share this item” button to spread the good word about their purchase.
There’s also a second subtle nudge in the confirmation email:

Amazon adds social share options to confirmation emails, albeit much smaller ones.

Although the share isn’t explicitly requested here, it’s still an option.

Consider implementing social sharing buttons within your confirmation pages or emails as shown above. With metadata pre-filled as it is above, the share is easier since customers won’t have to take any time to write a description. If you support Pinterest, you can try Rich Pins for products to even include details like pricing automatically.

Be sure to pair these sharing options with calls to action that will tap into customers’ feelings of post-purchasing happiness. If your store is small or new, you can ask shoppers to “spread the word” or “tell their friends” about you; if you’re larger or well-established, you may have better luck asking them to show off their purchases.

Worried that no one will share? You’ll never know until you ask!

Tap into customer satisfaction with post-delivery requests

We’ve covered how to motivate your customers to share your products before they make a purchase, and how to prompt them to share immediately after they’ve completed a transaction. There’s one more time you should consider asking for a share: after their order has arrived.

This final request time may vary based on what you sell. If you offer digital goods, like eBooks, it makes sense to ask for shares in an automated follow-up email just a few hours later. But if you specialize in physical goods, you’ll probably want to wait a few days. This allows time for a customer’s order to be delivered, and for any questions or concerns to be resolved.

Give them some time to receive, open, and check out their purchase. (Photo credit: Dan Budlac)
Why should you ask for shares at this point? Well, your customers are hopefully satisfied with what you’ve delivered, and you can tap into that feeling to ask for a favor. A well-timed follow-up email that politely requests a share is likely to be well-received.

The key here is to wrap your request in language that keeps the recipient feeling good. Thank them again for their purchase, encourage them to contact you with any questions, and then ask for shares. That way they won’t think “they want me to do what?” — they’ll see the major portion of the email, full of compliments and good will, and think “this company is great! Sure, I’ll share this with my friends.”

Many brands have invested in automated emails that request product or company reviews, and this is one way you may already be tapping into the feelings of satisfaction your customers have with your brand. You already know how important reviews are for motivating future sales, after all. But social shares can be just as motivational for customers who have never heard of you, so why not build upon this same strategy and allow your customers to share the products they are reviewing from the same email?

Sharing is caring, but don’t overdo it

Should you be asking your customers to share your products while they’re browsing your store, after they make a purchase, and when their order arrives? That depends. The last thing you want to do is be pushy or annoying. If you add buttons to every touch point, some of your customers might feel pressured to share, and will actively avoid the option.

There’s also the possibility that social sharing may not result in positive ROI in one or more of your marketing channels. In one A/B test highlighted on the VWO blog, an eCommerce website actually increased its conversion rate when it removed social sharing buttons from product pages. Products were 11.9% more likely to be added to the shopping cart from pages without these options.

For this store, removing social share buttons actually helped improve conversions. (Image credit: VWO)

VWO’s Mohita Nagpal speculates that this was because the number of shares on the store’s products were typically zero, and that worked against them as a negative form of social proof. Because the products had so few shares, some customers might have thought “this must not be very good” and left the page. It’s also possible that the social buttons distracted from the ultimate goal of the product page, which was to motivate purchases.

What does all of this mean for you? If you are planning to ask for social shares of your products, start slowly and tread lightly. Don’t ask for shares at every step. Perhaps just start with on-page buttons and a polite request in a follow-up email. You may also want to A/B test the location of your buttons, or even having buttons at all, to ensure that you’re not actually harming your conversion rates in the process.

Just as every store is different, every group of customers is different, too. So what works for one store may not work for yours. Be prepared to test, try new things, and ask for feedback on your social sharing options — just as you would with any other new feature.

Are you asking for shares?

Whether you ask your customers to share from your product pages, show off their recent purchases, or tell their friends about your brand after their order has been completed, social sharing is another method you can use to grow your business.

With the right motivation dealt out to your customers, you can increase shares of your products and take advantage of the increased lift in awareness and sales that this publicity brings. Just remember to start slowly and cautiously, and never forget that your customers are doing you a favor!

Do you give the option to share your items from your product pages, on your order confirmation page, or in any other unique location? Care to share your results or findings with us? We’d love to hear from you!

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Monday, November 9, 2015

3 Things You Must Optimize on Your E-Commerce Site

By Neil Patel

For all the progress of the last few years, we still have a long way to go in ecommerce. In many cases, the ecommerce effort is a staged battle against Amazon. In its other forms, ecommerce is simply a throw-enough-mud-on-the-wall approach where more products plus free shipping equals more sales.

That's not how it works.

To be successful in the extremely competitive ecommerce industry, you must understand what's most important and how exactly to fix it.

Ecommerce optimization isn't what you think it is.

In this article, I'm responding to several significant shortcomings that I've observed among ecommerce optimizers. First, there's a significant lack of understanding of the importance of product pages. Second, there is a lack of attention to the purchase process. Finally, many optimizers misunderstand what it means to optimize the category pages.
I'll explain the best strategy for optimization in each of these areas.

Optimize for mobile.

Ecommerce optimization should be synonymous with mobile optimization. Already, as recent holiday booms have shown us, mobile traffic and purchases often exceed the traffic and conversion rates of non-mobile users

Ecommerce is essentially a mobile industry. Shoppers are using their mobile devices to browse, compare, and learn. Buyers are using their mobile devices to convert on a purchase.
An ecommerce site without complete mobile optimization is limited from the very start.

Optimize your product pages.

Ecommerce is about purchasing items. This being the case, the most important pages on a an ecommerce website are the product pages themselves. Optimizing product pages is key to ecommerce success.

Here are the features of a product pages that require attention:
  • Focus on the longtail. A product page is basically a longtail keyword landing page. You will gain the most qualified and conversion-ready traffic from users who are inputting these longtail queries. Be sure you optimize the page title, H1, content, and images with this longtail in mind.
  • Add interactive elements. Interactive content is that which turns passive users into active participants. Interactive content engages users in such a way that they are doing something on the page not simply looking at the page. Interactive elements could include social sharing, price toggling, shipping customization, quizzes, easy forms, and user-controlled visuals. The more interactivity you can add to your page, the greater you will engage and attract the user.
  • Gain user generated content. User-generated content is content that your users create for you. UGC takes many forms, but it has its greatest advantage in e-commerce. Since content is a time-consuming prospect with limited ROI, it makes sense to get others to do it for you (for free). Product reviews are exactly where this technique can help an ecommerce site flourish. Product reviews are much like testimonials--letting your customers do your marketing for you. Obviously, reviews are a double-edged sword. While positive reviews can easily sell a product, negative reviews can do the opposite.
  • High-quality custom photos. The right images can dramatically improve your conversion rates. Even a technique as easy as making the pictures bigger can create a noticeable uptick in conversion rates. The higher quality your images, the better your page will be optimized.
  • Implement schema markup. Schema markup is a type of code that improves your page's results in search engine results. Much of the markup centers on product details. Adding markup neil to your products' price and star review level are two essentials.
Optimizing product pages is difficult, due to the fact that a site may have thousands of such pages. Creating unique copy for each item, let alone vast amount of additional content, is time-consuming. Taking a longview of the project while also improving and templating each page is crucial for full optimization.

Optimize your purchase process.

The CTA (Call To Action) button is the most-talked-about and most-optimized element on an ecommerce page. Is it really that important? I would say yes, but not to the neglect of the page's other features.

Whether the CTA is a micro conversion or an actual purchase, optimizers love to test it and refine it to the hilt. This is good as far as it goes, but it's a limited view of ecommerce optimization.

Conversion optimization is a process-focused pursuit, not a single-item improvement. In order to optimize an ecommerce page, you must iteratively improve and test multiple features, not just your prized CTA.
  • 2-3 steps. Once your checkout process exceeds the third step, you're going to lose some users. Keep things complete, but eliminate extraneous steps or forms in the process.
  • Focused and accurate error messages. One of the most frustrating features of a checkout process is the error message. Maybe you forgot to add a zip code, a phone number, or your CV code. When designing a checkout process, make completely sure that the user knows exactly where and how to fix the errors.
  • Progress bar. A progress bar keeps users informed as to where they are in the process, and keeps them motivated to complete the process.


Ecommerce is still expanding, growing, maturing, and improving. Like other efforts and methods of online business, there's still more growing to do.

Adjusting our perspective on what to fix and how to fix it will make an enormous impact on conversion rates and ultimately, upon revenue.

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Sunday, November 8, 2015

Should You Decorate Your Retail Store For The Holidays? If So, How?

By Bobb Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

Retailers looking for answers on whether or how to decorate their stores can come up empty. This post answers the question with examples. And while many people will read this with only Christmas decorating in mind, it is  just as relevant for Halloween and other seasonal celebrations.

Various seasonal times and holidays can inspire retailers to create magic for their customers.  And decorations go far beyond a demonstration of a new skillet or an invitation-only event.
Decorating a store goes to the heart of what makes great retailing…

How To Navigate The Complex Retail Sale And Increase Your Conversion Rate In Four Steps

By Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

Do you ask a wall of questions before ever getting a customer excited about the possibilities in what you sell?

If so, I’ll bet it is affecting your conversion rate (the number of people you encounter divided by the number of times they purchased).

Such was the case when I went into a flooring retailer…

Me: I’m looking for a new wood floor.

Guy: Are you doing it yourself or are you using a contractor? Is your floor above grade or below? Are you looking for real wood, laminate, or vinyl? Do you have a budget?

He asked about six other questions, but my ears had stopped processing. All I could hear was my own voice, Boy are you unprepared – this is work. Let’s leave.

Such a wall of questions ultimately tumbles onto the unassuming customer making them feel stupid and foolish.

Are you doing that to your customer?

I’ll bet you are…

There are varying degrees of complexity to many sales in a store.

Maybe your customer needs to know what their dinner companion will be wearing because she wants a complementary look. She wants to look like a couple, not like two individuals.
Perhaps a contractor needs to be consulted for items in a new kitchen.

Maybe the doorway dimensions need to be known to make sure the dream couch will fit through it.

Like everything when it comes to retail sales training, there’s a way to get that information…and a way not to.  Let's iron out the wrinkles in your selling process...

Here are four tips for selling in retail to navigate a complex retail sale:

1) First and foremost -  create the vision of what your product can do for your shopper. This is the fun side. This is where you create wonder, where you encourage people to look, touch, and imagine.  Get them to fall in love with it first. Show options in different price ranges and styles. The important thing is to keep all of your options to sell wide-open, to show your customer all you have and all you can do for them.

2) Present each piece of information you need in bite-sized chunks.  While you may need a wall of information and only questions will help you build it, you need to build it brick by brick. Your goal is to reframe fearful into safe.

If you need the dimensions of a doorway for that couch, is there a way to approximate the size?
For example, you could ask Does it feel like an average doorway to walk through – not too tight? You could ask them to hold out their elbows at shoulder height and touch fists together and then ask, This is about the space we need – does that feel right?

If it does, you can move on. If there is still a question, you need to provide safety, so now you offer options. 95% of the time we can deliver through a doorway like that, if not we look to see if we can use a window.  In the rarest of cases, they’ll measure before bringing it in and if there’s no way it can be done, we’ll cancel the order. Sound good?Your goal in a complex sale is to keep the motion moving forward until you know the sale is dead. This keeps you from stopping a sale before it even starts.

3) Recap all of the possibilities that could throw the sale off by assuring the customer you’ve examined everything.

To finalize the sale,  restate each brick of information once again. Remind them…

We’ve approximated the size of the ring;we’ve got the rose gold color she likes;we’ve got plenty of time to get it resized or let her pick out something else.

And always end by asking, Did I miss anything?

Again your goal is to anticipate their fear of the unknown and remove it to make the sale. You need to show them you have thought of everything - the things they’d thought of and the things they hadn’t - so they know they are in good hands.

4) Finish by making a personal request. Invite me to the wedding when she says yes.
I hope you’ll post a picture of your outfit online; I would love to see it.
Remember a party is a great way to show off your new furniture. Again, I’d love to see a picture of the fun.

In Sum

A sale that is dependent on more than one factor can make untrained employees want to get all their questions out immediately. They don’t want to waste their customer’s – or more likely – their own time.

The problem with all of those questions for information is they front-load a potential sale with a bunch of heavy baggage. That makes the customer’s whole effort to buy an effort. You never want that to happen.
Customers want to spend money freely and not feel shamed that they didn’t come in armed with everything they needed to know.

When you keep your focus on creating a vision...and not a wall... you’ll make the complex sale simple. 

And after all, isn’t that what you’re paid to do?

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Making Omnichannel Work: Unifying product, pricing and inventory information

photo from
Omnichannel retail is no longer a prediction; it's a foregone conclusion. Shoppers are demanding cross-channel conveniences and retailers are gearing up and reorganizing to meet the challenge.

But, to put matters simply, the challenge is all in the data — data such as purchase history, inventory status and product information that has been managed independently by different departments and systems.

Despite efforts to get systems "talking to one another," more often than not, customer-facing data fails to match up from channel to channel. Today, according to a CFI Group study, nearly three quarters of cross-channel consumers experience price and promotion inconsistencies between stores and websites under the same banner.

To overcome the shortcomings of legacy master data solutions, retailers are turning to new platforms that offer out-of-the-box, cloud-based capabilities. These solutions build powerful, centralized caches of data that can enrich how customers interact with a brand by assuring that information is continually updated and transferred between channels.

The benefits of a unified, omnichannel e-commerce platform are exemplified in Walgreens' newly updated mobile app that now offers an extended array of personalized and store-specific promotions to customers who shop via mobile and in-store channels. The app offers extensive product information and delivers inventory transparency to in-store shoppers that was previously only available to desktop users.

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The Impact of Mobile on the Retail Industry

By Charles Edge

One of my first jobs was installing Point Of Sales (POS) solutions. Back then, even a smaller retail organization might expend tremendous resources, with weeks of professional services, to get a solution that allowed them to move their old cash registers into computers that were not user-friendly and provided little value above the traditional ways of completing transactions.

Today, retail stores using Vend, Square, and other flexible technologies are popping up left and right. Everything from small yoga studios to juice bars to boutique shoe stores are experiencing enough initial success to open dozens of locations in months rather than years. This trend seems to be increasing, partially due to how easy the technology is to integrate. While you can still bring consultants in to help you get your technology sorted out quickly, you can also simply create an account on a number of Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions, install an app, and be selling in a matter of minutes.

As your perspective matures, you’ll learn a few important lessons. Someone will inevitably lose a device, and you’ll have to react swiftly. You’ll want to make it quicker to set-up the devices that people use to swipe credit cards. You’ll get requests for people to pay you in different ways. And hopefully, you’ll get big enough to want to buy things using a volume account (if that’s what you want).

Here are 10 tips to help guide you along the way:
  • At first, use a single platform. This allows you to keep costs down. Supporting one type of device gives you the chance to learn more about that type of device and rely on outside help less. If your organization is oriented towards apps that run on Android, then go all Android. If you have easy access to Apple devices, go all Apple. And P.S. Try to stick with mobile devices; they’re easier to support!
  • Keep in mind that ease of use will trump the initial cost of a device in the long run. Not having to bring in a third party to help you maintain devices can have massive savings for your company you’ll feel right away.
  • Buy your devices using a company account: with Apple, this means getting set-up with a Purchase Order. Devices you order are then shipped with a technology called DEP (Device Enrollment Program). Devices that are in Apple’s DEP program allow you to automate the enrollment process.
  • Use an MDM (Mobile Device Management) solution. At first, you might only access its ability to wipe a device should it fall out of your control. Later, you’ll want to make use of tools like Apple’s Volume Purchase Program (VPP) which allows you to buy apps en masse and to deploy free and paid apps without having to setup an Apple ID for what could be devices used by multiple people. I’m partial to this one, as a member of the team that makes Bushel (, a solution built specifically with small businesses in mind.
  • When you hire your first employee, get a time-tracking solution. One of the easiest SaaS solutions is Deputy (
  • Choose an accounting package that both your POS system and your accountant can support. This will help keep your accounting and tax fees low and keep the time you invest getting data to the right people at tax-time to a minimum. Check out QuickBooks (, Xero (, or FreshBooks (
  • Keep all your money in one place—at least until you have multiple charts of accounts. You can easily see everything under one hood using a simple banking app, like Mint (
  • Get social now! Go ahead and claim your names on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. The sooner you start posting content, the quicker you’ll find that content driving traffic to your site (and ultimately your store). Make content, and don’t regurgitate too much. Be interesting and appropriate to your target audience. But most importantly, be authentic. People like to interact with the people behind brands, so make sure to brand yourself and your employees in the right light.
  • Keep your documents in the cloud. Consider,, or other file sharing services to help you put menus, product descriptions, contracts, and other information in an easy place that you can share from. Don’t bother with a server at first (if ever), as this will simply drive costs up.
  • And one of the most important tips: make sure you can export your data from every service you invest in. On the POS side, this will keep your transaction history, customer list, and other important data within systems you own. Don’t worry about paying for a few apps to test; in the long-run, making sure you have the features you need will save you a lot more than the $20-$30 you might spend picking the right app!
Overall, starting a business was one of the most rewarding and crazy things I’ve ever done. There are so many lessons you learn along the way. Keeping these 10 in mind should help get you through those first few months, at least as far as your tech is concerned!

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Friday, November 6, 2015

8 Awesome Black Friday Email Campaigns You Can Steal This Holiday Season

Last year email marketing drove over 27% of holiday sales according to Custora. With this year’s Black Friday set to be the biggest one yet, that number is only expected to rise.

As a marketer and business owner, it can often be difficult to come up with great emails with eye-catching images and actionable copy. That’s why I like to draw inspiration and ideas from other successful marketers and businesses.

I’m going to share eight awesome Black Friday email campaigns that you can steal and start implementing into your business. In each example, I’m going to break down what it is, why it’s so effective, and how you can implement their ideas into your holiday campaigns.

1. The Simple Sale Announcement Email

Subject: Black Friday - 40% off everything!
What it is: A simple but well-executed email from CanvasPop announcing their store-wide Black Friday sale.
Why it works: This email is all business. It clearly announces the sale and has a focused call-to-action. Sometimes, keeping things simple is the best way to go.
How to implement it: Take the simple approach to your Black Friday and Cyber Monday sale announcements. Have a clear subject line with the sale discount, and include a call-to-action in your email that brings customers to your homepage or page with the products that are on sale.

2. The Bold Imagery and Animations Email


Subject: Don’t wait ’til tomorrow! Take up to 50% off our most popular inventions right now.
What it is: Quirky uses a quirky image animation to announce their Black Friday weekend sale.
Why it works: I don’t often get animated GIFs in my email, let alone one as fun and entertaining as this. This email really stands out from other Black Friday sale announcements that will be barraging customer inboxes.
Also, all the important information is immediately clear. Free shipping, the discount, and the day the sale ends are all there in plain sight.
How to implement it: Start using animated GIFs and very unique imagery in your Black Friday emails, especially if it matches the tone of your brand.
Again, keeping your most important information above the fold is important.

3. The Free Gift Email

Subject: Black Friday + Giving Tanks
What it is: Storq created a free gift coupon instead of offering a store-wide sale.
Why it works: Storq uses Black Friday as an opportunity to increase the average order value in their store. Offering a free gift is an enticing way to get customers to your store on Black Friday.
The email design is also simple and effective. The coupon code really stands out and the instructions are clear and easy to follow.
How to implement it: You can still participate in Black Friday even if your business doesn’t typically discount or you can’t afford to lower your prices. Black Friday gives you a reason to contact your customers, so email them with any offer you can create that weekend.
If you can’t lower your prices, consider offering a free gift with a minimum purchase amount. You can easily do this within Shopify or with an app from the Shopify App Store to help.
Keep your emails simple and don’t overcomplicate your offer. When it comes to copy, less is often more.

4. The Last-Minute Extended Sale Email

Subject: EXTENDED! 50%. Off. Everything.
What it is: Julep extends their Black Friday weekend sale into Tuesday.
Why it works: Not everyone will have the opportunity to check out your Black Friday sale. Extending the sale last-second (and running a sale when competitors just ended theirs) gives customers another chance to purchase from your store.
This email is also effective because it’s unexpected. If you’ve been consistently warning customers about the impending end of your Black Friday sale and then spring a last-second extension, it’s more likely to stick out in people’s inboxes.
Lastly, the email is well designed. The three most important elements in this email contrast well against the rest: “Extended 48 hours,” “50% off everything,” and “use code cyberwow.”
How to implement it: Consider extending your sale and surprising your customers. You can even offer a new discount for the extended sale to get customers off the fence.
Don’t forget to make the most important elements in your email stand out, too. Use Julep’s email design as inspiration.

5. The Black Friday Giveaway Email

Subject: Blacked-Out Friday
What it is: Huckberry turns their Black Friday sale into a giveaway.
Why it works: Giveaways and contests can inject even more excitement into a Black Friday sale. Huckberry is giving their customers more incentive to shop on their site during Black Friday by giving each purchase a random entry into their giveaway.
Huckberry also includes more copy in their emails than most stores. Huckberry is very keen on conveying messages and telling stories in their emails, even on Black Friday.
This email in particular is too long to show in this blog post, but below their Black Friday sale announcement are stories, including the harrowing trip to Antarctica mentioned at the top of the email.
Despite being Black Friday, Huckberry hasn’t changed their established tone. Huckberry continues to deliver interesting stories, even in their most promotion-heavy emails.
How to implement it: Run a contest alongside your sale or give every customer that makes a purchase the chance to win a prize. Check out the giveaway apps in our Shopify App Store to help you put this together.
Finally, don’t diverge from your original messaging or style. If you’ve been delivering great content or stories with each email, that doesn’t need to change for Black Friday. Find a way to weave your Black Friday emails into what you’ve been doing well previously. Make it organic.

6. The Black Friday Humor Email

Subject: Sweats + Shorts = THE SCHWORTS
What it is: Chubbies stays consistent with their tone and branding and uses humor to promote their Black Friday sale on schworts.
Why it works: This email looks a lot different than the a typical Black Friday sale emails. First, the subject line is great. Next, the image of someone lounging on their couch pouring food down their mouth after Thanksgiving is really funny.
There isn’t a lot of copy in this email but it’s still effective at conveying why you need their comfortable shorts. Chubbies also shows you their shorts looking comfortable instead of only telling you that they’re comfortable.
Chubbies also chooses to focus on one product to promote their Black Friday sale instead of announcing a store-wide sale. This is far more effective since leaving customers with too much choice can be overwhelming.
How to implement it: Have fun with your marketing. If it suits your brand, experiment with unique subject lines for your emails and use humorous images.
You don’t need a lot of copy in your Black Friday emails to convey a message. Don’t just tell your customers your shorts are comfortable, show them in an entertaining way.
Lastly, you don’t need to promote several products in your Black Friday email. Promote your Black Friday sale with one product (or a few) instead. Consider choosing your best-selling or most interesting product and promote it on Black Friday to drive traffic.

7. The Scarcity Email

Subject: Woosters Almost Sold Out! Black Friday Prices + Free Shipping For A Few More Hours!
What it is: Greats gives their customers a Black Friday status report on the shoes on sale.
Why it works: Greats uses elements of scarcity throughout the email. “Moving fast,” “Almost sold out,” and “No time to be on the fence” creates a sense of urgency. Even the subject line has urgency in it with “Woosters almost sold out!”.
Of course, Greats’ personality shines through in this email as well.
How to implement it: Learn to create scarcity in your email marketing, especially on Black Friday. Create urgency and use your emails to remind your customers that your sale will be ending. Also, when your products are selling like hot cakes, tell people!

8. The Against-The-Grain Email

Subject: This Is Not A Sale
What it is: Everlane uses Black Friday as a platform to raise awareness and money for workers in China.
Why it works: The subject line is strong and piques people’s curiosity, encouraging them to open the email to learn more. You don’t often get emails on Black Friday letting you know “this is not a sale.”
It isn’t a bait and switch either; Everlane goes against the grain and promises to give 100% of their Black Friday profit to their factories in China to improve working conditions.
This gesture also helps build Everlane’s brand. It also has the chance to be picked up by news sites social media since it’s unique and generous for a time of year where businesses are focused on profit.
How to implement it: If you’re tired of running the same Black Friday sale every year, or your customers have grown to expect the same from you every year, change things up. Consider making this year’s Black Friday all about your customer or someone else in need.
It could be your opportunity to give back a little while also creating a positive brand image for your store.

Over to You

If email marketing isn’t a large part of your growth strategy, take the time to learn why it’s important for your business. If your email list is small, start building it now to make the most out of Black Friday. You don’t need a gigantic email list for your Black Friday to matter, but the bigger your list, the better. With the right amount of engaged subscribers and awesome, well-crafted emails, your business can have a great Black Friday.
Want to crush it this Black Friday? Check out the 26-point checklist I put together to position your store for success this holiday season.
If you have any questions or Black Friday email ideas you’d like to share, leave a comment below. I engage with and respond to everyone.

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